Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CRCT Scores Released


The state has released the CRCT scores and for DeKalb County Schools, it doesn't look pretty - ESPECIALLY for our 8th graders.

The official statement for statewide results at the DOE reads, Test scores for Georgia’s elementary and middle school students improved in all areas this year, but most dramatically in the crucial subjects of mathematics and science.

Students posted gains on all 14 of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) in mathematics and science, all of which are aligned to Georgia’s more rigorous curriculum.

“The 2009 CRCT results are very encouraging and show that our students are learning more advanced concepts and are able to apply that knowledge properly,” said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. “Our elementary and middle school teachers should feel very proud today – they are getting the job done!”


DeKalb's scores look like this -

1st grade READING: 33.9% Exceeded, 51.9% met and 14.3% did not meet expectations
1st grade ELA: 21.6% Exceeded, 55.6% met and 22.9% did not meet expectations
1st grade MATH: 21.0% Exceeded, 52.3% met and 21.7% did not meet expectations

2nd grade READING: 43.0% Exceeded, 45.1% met and 11.9% did not meet expectations
2nd grade ELA: 20.0% Exceeded, 61.4% met and 18.6% did not meet expectations
2nd grade MATH: 21.7% Exceeded, 57.7% met and 20.5% did not meet expectations

3rd grade READING: 27.0% Exceeded, 55.9% met and 17.1% did not meet expectations
3rd grade ELA: 26.8% Exceeded, 54.0% met and 19.2% did not meet expectations
3rd grade MATH: 28.1% Exceeded, 39.5% met and 32.4% did not meet expectations
3rd grade SCIENCE: 23.4% Exceeded, 46.1% met and 30.5% did not meet expectations
3rd grade SOC STUDIES: 13.1% Exceeded, 55.2% met and 31.7% did not meet expectations

4th grade READING: 27.6% Exceeded, 55.6% met and 16.8% did not meet expectations
4th grade ELA: 22.6% Exceeded, 59.7% met and 17.7% did not meet expectations
4th grade MATH: 21.9% Exceeded, 42.9% met and 35.2% did not meet expectations
4th grade SCIENCE: 25.5% Exceeded, 41.8% met and 32.7% did not meet expectations
4th grade SOC STUDIES: 12.7% Exceeded, 48.9% met and 38.4% did not meet expectations

5th grade READING: 16.1% Exceeded, 67.4% met and 16.4% did not meet expectations
5th grade ELA: 24.7% Exceeded, 62.4% met and 12.9% did not meet expectations
5th grade MATH: 28.9% Exceeded, 43.2% met and 28.0% did not meet expectations
5th grade SCIENCE: 19.1% Exceeded, 42.6% met and 37.6% did not meet expectations
5th grade SOC STUDIES: 11.4% Exceeded, 49.5% met and 39.0% did not meet expectation

6th grade READING: 28.4% Exceeded, 57.5% met and 14.1% did not meet expectations
6th grade ELA: 24.1% Exceeded, 62.7% met and 13.2% did not meet expectations
6th grade MATH: 11.3% Exceeded, 53.1% met and 35.6% did not meet expectations
6th grade SCIENCE: 9.0% Exceeded, 45.9% met and 45.0% did not meet expectations

7th grade READING: 13.0% Exceeded, 68.7% met and 18.3% did not meet expectations
7th grade ELA: 21.9% Exceeded, 62.1% met and 16.0% did not meet expectations
7th grade MATH: 19.6% Exceeded, 54.0% met and 26.4% did not meet expectations
7th grade SCIENCE: 18.9% Exceeded, 40.9% met and 40.3% did not meet expectations

8th grade READING: 24.1% Exceeded, 65.6% met and 10.3% did not meet expectations
8th grade ELA: 23.2% Exceeded, 65.7% met and 11.1% did not meet expectations
8th grade MATH: 16.1% Exceeded, 45.8% met and 38.0% did not meet expectations
8th grade SCIENCE: 7.5% Exceeded, 39.7% met and 52.8% did not meet expectations
8th grade SOC STUDIES: 9.6% Exceeded, 37.9% met and 52.5% did not meet expectation

-------------------------

To be sure, the above scores represent the entire systems average scores. We can see huge discrepancies between schools when we differentiate the scores. For example, at the Academy of Lithonia in the 5th grade, 37.8% failed social studies, 46.7% failed science, 37.8% failed math, 13.3% failed language arts and 22.2% failed reading. Conversely, at Briarlake ES, in the 5th grade, 16.0% failed social studies, 20% failed science, 12% failed math, 14% failed language arts and 10% failed reading. Our countywide bell curve won't show you this disparity or others.

To download all scores including scores for individual schools, click on this state DOE link or go to the link at the AJC article.

====================

For those of you who are confused about the difference between the CRCT and the ITBS, below is an explanation from the Georgia Department of Education.

How does the CRCT differ from a norm-referenced test (NRT)?

Criterion-referenced tests, such as the CRCT, are designed to measure how well students acquire, learn, and accomplish the knowledge and skills set forth in a specific curriculum or unit of instruction. The CRCT, therefore, is specifically intended to test Georgia's performance/content standards outlined in the GPS. Norm-referenced tests (NRT), such as the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), measure instructional standards commonly taught throughout the entire United States of America. Additionally, NRTs highlight differences between and among students across an achievement continuum.

98 comments:

mykidsmom said...

What I would like to see (and what I think is most important) is how many schools, if any, improved from last year's scores.

Cerebration said...

I'm sure the school system will be publishing all of the positive data after they have time to analyze it. Meanwhile, below is the text from their homepage --

Achievements
Over the last four years, the school district has shown improvement in Reading/English-Language Arts performance in grades 3 – 8 within almost every subgroup.
DeKalb’s graduation rate has improved from 62.8% in 2005 to 75.3% in 2008.
DCSS has shown a consistent reduction in the percentage of students absent more than 15 days in both the elementary and middle school sectors. While in 2007, the absentee rate was 9.3%, for 2008, the absentee rate was 6.9%
The Georgia Writing Assessment for grade 8 showed a 12% improvement in 2008 for the number of students meeting or exceeding standards. The percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards for 2009 is 11%.
The Writing Assessment results for Grade 5 showed a 5% improvement in 2008. This percentage remained steady for 2009.
In 2007, nine middle schools made AYP. In 2008, 16 middle schools made AYP.
DeKalb’s spring 2009 CRCT testing closed on May 1, 2009. Approximately 59,000 students in grades 1-8 were tested. DCSS administration expects official CRCT system and school level results back by early to mid July. DCSS will share these results as information becomes available.

mykidsmom said...

If I read the numbers correct, and just a quick glance, scores show improvement for 8th grade over 2008

Reading 2008: 16.8 Exceeded
69.6 Met
13.7 Did not Meet
Reading 2009: 24.1 Exceeded
65.6 Met
10.3 Did not Meet
Math 2008: 8.8 Exceeded
43.2 Met
48.0 Did Not Meet
Math 2009: 16.1 Exceeded
45.8 Met
38.0 Did not Meet
Science 2008: 6.8 Exceeded
38.3 Met
54.9 Did Not Meet
Science 2009: 7.5 Exceeded
39.7 Met
52.8 Did Not Meet
SS 2008: 4.7 Exceeded
40.7 Met
54.7 Did Not Meet
SS 2009: 9.6 Exceeded
37.9 Met
52.5 Did Not Meet

Anonymous said...

Are those 2008 numbers for last year's 8th grade or 7th grade students?

In my opinion, you need to compare the previous year's 7th grade to this year's 8th grade to really see how the 8th grade teachers performed...what did they do with what they had to work with?

Otherwise, it's almost an apples-to-oranges comparison.

mykidsmom said...

Those are last year's 8th grade scores. Why would compare with last year's 7th grade with this year's 8th grade? 7th
and 8th have different curriculum, different teachers.

Cerebration said...

I think the idea to compare students' progress year over year is good, but the CRCT only evaluates delivery of the curriculum, so you probably should compare like grades. I'll repost your comparison mykidsmom so that it's easier to read -

Reading 2008: 16.8 Exceeded, 
69.6 Met, 
13.7 Did not Meet

Reading 2009: 24.1 Exceeded, 
65.6 Met
 , 10.3 Did not Meet


Math 2008: 8.8 Exceeded
, 43.2 Met
, 48.0 Did Not Meet

Math 2009: 16.1 Exceeded
, 45.8 Met
, 38.0 Did not Meet


Science 2008: 6.8 Exceeded, 
38.3 Met
, 54.9 Did Not Meet

Science 2009: 7.5 Exceeded
, 39.7 Met
, 52.8 Did Not Meet


SS 2008: 4.7 Exceeded
, 40.7 Met
, 54.7 Did Not Meet

SS 2009: 9.6 Exceeded
, 37.9 Met, 
52.5 Did Not Meet

==========
So you are correct that we have had positive movement in all categories (especially math - now that it's in it's 2nd year of implementation). I do think it's sad though, that the fail rates are still much too high. Over half of our 8th graders failed Social Studies and Science.

What I like to compare is school to school - we have a vast crevice of disparity in scores. The "mean" score for the county is not necessarily the "average" score for our students.

themommy said...

It is important to also look at the state as a whole which is far less diverse and much less poor than DeKalb.

For example, at the state level, nearly 38 percent failed social studies in 8th grade, so we might not be doing so horribly at 50 percent.

That said, the state controls the cut score (the score needed to pass) and it changes each year. Kathy Cox will need to be reelected, so it is hard for me to take any pleasure from improving scores.

We need national testing.

Cerebration said...

I disagree about the poverty. Georgia has many, many rural school districts with high levels of poverty - as high or higher than DeKalb. Any legislator will tell you this is what continues to bring down our state scores. This was the reason for the rural counties suing the state and demanding 'equalization' in funding. DeKalb actually had to send millions and millions of our tax dollars to poor, rural counties, as we do not generate a score deeming us poor by the state formula.

But - thinking that half of 8th graders failing (a very low threshold) is remotely acceptable is outrageous. Try telling that to a friend in Massachusetts or North Carolina or pretty much anywhere else.

themommy said...

It isn't remotely acceptable. However, the roll out of the new curriculum has been mismanaged unbelievably and therefore I expect that many teachers haven't been properly trained on the delivery of the new social studies curriculum (or math) for that matter.

In my opinion, the train the trainer method that GA DOE uses is not worth the paper it is written on. Rather, if the state was going to get a new curriculum, then they needed to invest enough $ so that every teacher received training from the best in the field, not just another teacher.

By the way, DCSS has a free and reduced lunch of 66 percent; the state is 51 percent. I am not making excuses, but is important to remember that in many poor counties in GA there is no mobility, the impoverished are stuck. DCSS has tremendous mobility (last year, it was something like 80 percent at Clarkston High school.)

Cerebration said...

While we're on the subject, and since you mentioned national tests - I'll post the SAT data as well --

From the AJC:

2008 Georgia SAT scores
Georgia's average score on the SAT college admissions exam fell for the second consecutive year, according to results released Aug. 26, 2008.

The state's results dropped by six points to 1,466. But the national average held steady at 1,511 -- 45 points higher than Georgia's average, according to the College Board, which administers the test. A perfect score is 2,400.


DeKalb's average was 1198.

(Covering a range from 1048 at the Alternative School to 1667 at Chamblee HS.)

Cerebration said...

ps - I want to clarify - the rural areas are just about equal to the low-performing urban areas in bringing down Georgia's average test scores. Some schools in our state do very poorly - but we also have some really wonderful schools that always deliver high test scores. Georgia seems to be either/or - there really is no middle ground/middle class.

If you plotted scores on a bell curve, I'll bet that the middle and high end would be very, very narrow. Even if you look over the SAT scores for Dekalb, you will see lots of scores in the 1100-1200's and a few over 1500 - but not many 1300 or 1400.

mykidsmom said...

themommy has a great point. Both of my children had the same middle school math teacher. My oldest child was pre-new math. This teacher was energetic, creative and my child loved her class and did very well. My youngest child had this same teacher post-new math. Though my youngest child did well grade-wise and CRCT wise, this same teacher seemed to struggle in how best to teach. There were times when homework was taking an on-line test someone else had come up with. This teacher seemed to have lost the "creative" edge. Such a shame. Is this what NCLB has done to our teachers? Is teaching to a test zapped the creative juices of our teachers?

No Duh said...

I can't shake the taint of Berry/Atherton. I don't believe any of the CRCT scores are accurate. High numbers of failures, or not, B/A have perpetrated a crime with legs. They are just the two that got caught.

Anonymous said...

No Duh makes an excellent point. These scores -- which are woefully low and absolutley unacceptable -- are fraudulantly inflated by the wholesale cheating at Berry/Atherton and the other DCSS schools (which have yet to be caught).

mykidsmom said...

Anonymous, if you have proof of cheating at other schools have you reported this cheating? I'm sure the AJC would love to hear from you.

That being said, I really have an issue with "anonymous" people posting accusation of misconduct while offering no proof, so if you do have that proof, please enlighten us and the proper authorities.

Cerebration said...

No passing CRCT score? No problem. Check out this article in the AJC - "Under state law, Georgia public school students are supposed to pass math and reading Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests in grades 5 and 8, and reading in grade 3. But an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found most schools promoted the majority of students who did not pass the tests in 2006 and 2007."

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2008/06/28/crct-ajc-analysis.html?appSession=446180047749785

Also, read the article posted just prior to this one on this blog - SOMEBODY definitely cheated here - looks like the sub will take the fall -

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2009/07/more-we-dig-more-we-find.html

And check out some of what Dr. Trotter and MACE have to say on the subject -

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com/

mykidsmom said...

I was told last year after the 8th grade Math CRCT debacle, that if a student is "close" (and who defines close?) to the needed scores, then the principal, along with the parents can make the decision whether to promote the student.

Not sure if that is true, but just what I was fold

Soccer Dad said...

Stop rationalizing. There's no way to sugar coat it.

The DCSS failure rates in MATH and SCIENCE are OUTRAGEOUS.

And don't get me started about the SAT. Georgia is ranked 49th in the U.S. on SAT scores at 1,466. And DCSS is almost 20% LOWER than that at 1,198.

Let's face the facts. Georgia has excruciatingly low performance standards and DCSS can't even meet those. Whether it's CRCT or SAT, DCSS is "bringing up the rear" in a state that's "bringing up the rear".

Forget the global economy. At this rate, DCSS students aren't even being prepared for our national economy.

In light of these numbers, the BoE members have some explaining to do. They're retaining central office 'leadership' and paying 'administrators' how much for these results???

Cerebration said...

MORE 8th GRADE CRCT DATA - from the AJC

Avondale MS - 127 failed, 95% passed on to HS.
Cedar Grove MS - 247 failed, 93% passed on to HS.
Chamblee MS - 19 failed, 73% passed on to HS.
Columbia MS - 210 failed, 90% passed on to HS.
Freedom MS - 155 failed, 93% passed on to HS.
Henderson MS - 75 failed, 89% passed on to HS.
Lithonia MS - 233 failed, 97% passed on to HS.
McNair MS - 283 failed, 95% passed on to HS.
Miller Grove MS - 186 failed, 77% passed on to HS.
Peachtree MS - 83 failed, 94% passed on to HS.
Redan MS - 157 failed, 95% passed on to HS.
Salem MS - 198 failed, 91% passed on to HS.
Shamrock - 123 failed, 99% passed on to HS.
Stephenson MS - 146 failed, 82% passed on to HS.
Tucker MS - 136 failed, 93% passed on to HS.

High school teachers are not expecting to get students so terribly unprepared. This only serves to harm the students themselves as they will obviously crash and burn in high school - that is - unless someone is kind enough to continue to pass them along by easy grading or simply threatening teachers or changing grades. The students are the ones who are cheated - plain and simple.

mykidsmom said...

Cere, are those figures prior to the summer school CRCT "retakes"?

Let me play devil's advocate for a minute. Let's say you have a child who makes A's and B's within the Impact program, but for some reason, does poorly on the Math portion of the CRCT and misses the "cut" by 1 point. Is it fair for this student to be held back in MS?

This is a real situation.

Cerebration said...

If you go to the AJC article, you will see that these are the results of the re-takes. I'm certain that you can find an anomaly for every situation, but by and large, these are probably solid failures.

ps -- how can a child be in "Impact" and fail the math? Is this indicative of the new math issues? Has this child been wrongly placed in Impact? How does this child do on national tests (ITBS)? I would certainly agree that parents and teachers could come together and make a decision based on evaluating these questions - but certainly - they shouldn't be passing along 90% of failing students.

Bottom line - these scores are a reflection on the principal and the school and are directly tied to funding, and the principals reputation. Principals are under great pressure to make certain that they 'fly under the radar' - sadly, the repercussions for their selfish actions only harm the students - for life.

mykidsmom said...

The Impact program uses the ITBS scores - not CRCT scores.

As far as why this child did poorly, maybe illness on test day, teenager angst, could be a myriad of things.

Though, I'm sure her situation was not the norm and I do agree that children are being passed along when they should not be.

Cerebration said...

Soccer Dad is spot on in his assessment. I would recommend that everyone re-read his comment above. It's reality. Unless and until we step away from that "river in Egypt" - Denial - we cannot even begin to make improvements in education. Unless and until we find a way to focus on educating children rather than focusing on high pay and bonuses for administrators, we won't be able to improve real learning. Unless and until we let teachers teach - and remove disruptive students and defend our teachers abilities and grades and respect their opinions on individual students abilities, we will not be able to employ and retain quality teachers (they are leaving us in droves).

mykidsmom said...

And I might add, that parents need to be involved in this process as well. Education is a partnership between all parties, administrators, teachers and parents. If one party does not do their job, the whole system fails.

My children attended a charter ES, which as part of their charter has volunteer requirements. I remember there was one parent who absolutely railed LOUDLY every single year about the volunteer requirements. I remember thinking how could anyone not want to be involved in their children's school life - especially in ES where it is so important.

Anonymous said...

Agree with themommy at 10:09 p.m.

Georgia pushed through the new math curriculum too fast without proper teacher training. As a comparison, NC (which was supposed to be the model for GA) has been developing and pilot testing an integrated math program since 1998! In 2008 it was offered at the HS level as an alternative to traditional math courses. NC does not expect to have its version of an EOCT ready until the 2011-2012 school year.

I don't know a lot about the 8th grade science curriculum other than when my child took it last year the teacher struggled with several portions. I do not think she had sufficient math skills to teach the segments.

Georgia education is an embarrassment and DeKalb is even worse. With all the new money DCSS is supposed to be spending on upgraded data analysis, I would like to see them track an individual child's progress from grade to grade (no matter how many times the child transfers) and put the CRCT side-by-side the ITBS and beside the letter grade. I fully understand the difference between the two tests but a child who is exceeds expectation should be about 85% or higher on ITBS and I don't think that is happening.

BTW, why the heck did DCSS stop giving the ITBS in 8th grade? I couldn't find any scores for this year. This might be a good way to determine whether students failing the CRCT should be passed to high school.

CRCT BLOODBATH said...

"Georgia education is an embarrassment and DeKalb is even worse."

No argument from this tax payer.

mykidsmom said...

A couple of points anonymous:

1. The ITBS and CRCT measure entirely different components - it would make no sense to compare the 2.

2. The ITBS is not offered in any grade past 8th at all in any public school in the state of Georgia. If a system wishes to use the ITBS in HS, they must pay for it themselves. I do not know of any school system that is doing so.

3. My children have attended Dekalb County school since Pre-K and I do not consider their education "embarassing".

Ella Smith said...

The 8th grade scores are just bad.

Cerebration said...

Mykidsmom, I understand that you are pleased with YOUR children's education. However, at this blog, we try to look at the countywide issues and there is just no denying that although, yes, we do have some really wonderful schools, we have some truly bad ones also.

There is no denying the test scores posted on this article above. Do the math. The average FAIL rate for all categories from 1st-8th grade is 26.1%. That truly is embarrassing and needs to change.

If you are pleased with the quality of education your child is receiving, please help us see to it that ALL of DeKalbs students receive that same quality. That's all we're saying here.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's a laudable goal to try and ensure that all children receive a quality education. But, I get very tired of the DCSS bashing on this blog. Of course the CRCT scores are terrible for many of the schools. Many of the students in our school system are not going to do well on the test because they have no support at home. Their parents do not stress the imporance of education, are not involved in the schools, and probably do not pay any attention to their children's school work until they find that their child has failed.

So, how about we rag on our society for awhile rather than DCSS? Is there a school system anywhere that is not a reflection of the society in which it exists?

We talk about raising the bar for everyone...great. But, those who care about education will find a a way for their children to attend a good school. Those who do not care will not. Thus, the "bad" schools have little hope of getting better.

We have problems in DCSS, and most are not the fault of DCSS.

Anonymous said...

mykidsmom- I respectfully disagree. CRCT is supposed to measure how well the student has mastered the GA curriculum while ITBS is a nationally normed test. But the GA curriculum standards should be established so that GA students are achieving on a national basis.

When the state constantly changes the "cut" level (the cutoff points for below expectations, meets expectations, etc.) the state can and does manipulate the test. At present, the State DOE refuses to release the cut levels. Teachers generally feel that due to the backlash that the state got last year over the new math and social studies CRCT scores, that the state reduced the cut scores so that the legislature and parents would feel that there was improvement.

As to giving the CRCT in 8th grade in DCSS, I have my child's 8th grade scores sitting in front of me. DCSS did this through last year. Look on their "Test Score" website. I propose that they stop giving ITBS in 7th grade and instead give it in 8th grade. Then if a child is borderline failing the CRCT the school has a second reference point.

mykidsmom said...

I think you need to read my post again, anonymous.I never indicated that the CRCT's were not given in 8th grade. The CRCT's are not given in High School, neither are the ITBS tests.

The CRCT tests are based on the mandatory requirements of the No Child Left Behind Law. The ITBS tests are not part of nor are they relevant to NCLB.

mykidsmom said...

Interesting update on the CRCT cheating scandal on Channel 11 this evening. Susan Mathers of the Governor's Office Of Accountability addressed the State BOE today. Apparently, Fulton County has told her they cannot "confirm" any cheating at Parklane and Beverly Hall of APS denied there was any cheating at Deerwood Academy. From the little of the clip I saw, Susan Mathers was irate at Beverly Hall. Mathers indicated that Hall was in denial and said that these children has been harmed. They were in no way ready for MS Math and they are paying for it now.

mykidsmom said...

I did not know this - this is rather disturbing to me. The money that Atherton received was not given back to the students:

Parklane spent the money on supplies such as paper, pens and books, and on replacement bulbs for high-tech educational tools, state records show.

Deerwood used its grant for a black history field trip to Atlanta college campuses, the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District and a museum.

Atherton, however, elected to spend the money on cash awards to school staff, giving about $142 to each of 65 staff members, records show.

The decision to pay cash to staff was made by the Atherton Elementary School Leadership Team, according to records. The team includes administrators, teachers and PTA members.


https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=151096942903989101&postID=6563544191014019147

Cerebration said...

Anonymous - we've certainly heard your point here many times before. The failing students have terrible parents and therefore don't care about education. So what to do? If we don't hold the school system accountable, then who? (Don't say the parents, that won't help these children.) When you lay blame on terrible parenting and then walk away, what will get better - except your own guilty feelings?

DeKalb county receives well over $30 million a year in Title 1 funds strictly for the purpose of supporting students from low socio-eonomic groups and poor parents. If you don't think they should be held accountable for using that money to make improvements, and should be able to sit back and lay all of the blame on the child's home life, then I say they should give the money back.

Cerebration said...

mykidsmom -- good find on the spending of money intended for children. It simply goes to prove my point. Selfish, arrogant leaders will never seek to do what it takes to improve the education of the children in their charge. They get a fistful of cash and - it's off to Wal-Mart.

mykidsmom said...

Beverly Hall sounds like she's taken a page out of the Crawford Lewis book:

Meanwhile Mathers reported much less of a response from Fulton County and Atlanta Public Schools.

She said Fulton County claims its investigation into Parkland Elementary was "inclusive".

And she said Atlanta School Superintendent Beverly Hall sent her a letter Tuesday evening claiming they found no evidence of cheating at Deerwood Academy.

Hall's letter disputed Mathers' findings and even questioned why their school had been investigated in the first place.

Mathers accused Atlanta's school system of being in denial, "which signals to us a lack of seriousness about this and a lack of willingness to really arrive at what happened in this particular case."


http://www.11alive.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=132312&catid=40

Anonymous said...

mykidsmom- I am sorry, my error. I read too fast. Anyway, my question is why did DCSS stop giving the ITBS in 8th grade? Or did they give it and just not report scores this year?

Psychometricians and teachers say that if state tests and curriculua are properly designed, there should be a rough correlation between the ITBS and CRCT. In other words, the ITBS provides that scores below the 23rd percentage are below average. That should roughly equate with
"below expectations" on the CRCT.

Due to the constant tinkering with the CRCT, I have always placed much more importance on the ITBS. The subscores provide very valuable information.

mykidsmom said...

The ITBS is given in 7th and 8th grade. I'm not sure why it's not given in 6th grade.

And I agree, I think the ITBS is a better tool with which to track academic progress since it is a national test. Many private schools use the ITBS as well.

Cerebration said...

James Berry, principal of Dekalb County's Atherton Elementary resigned when confronted with the cheating evidence.

Atherton assistant principal Doretha Alexander has been reassigned.

The school system says both admitted their guilt.

The Dekalb County District Attorney had both arrested last month on charges of falsifying state documents.

So far, those are the only criminal charges in the cheating scandal.



Wait - Ms Alexander ADMITTED her guilt yet she has simply been "reassigned"? She makes $68,000 - I'm certain that in this economy, there would be someone more deserving -- and ethical -- to take her place.

Anonymous said...

I cannot locate any fall 2008 scores for 8th grade on the DCSS website. If you go to the link for test scores and open up the page with ITBS scores, there is none for 8th grade for Fall 2008. Am I not looking in the correct place?

Not surprised by Beverly Hall denial. Most my co-workers have children in Atlanta schools. They think Hall spends too much time promoting herself and predicted this. And isn't her bonus based on AYP progress? That being said, they generally think the school system has improved under her watch.

Terrible, terrible about Atherton. Wonder if C. Lewis still wants everyone to "support" them...

mykidsmom said...

I was just looking at that cere. My child's school website indicated that 7th and 8th take the ITBS, but you're right, they don't show up on the DCSS website.

mykidsmom said...

The ITBS were discontinued for 6th and 8th grade last fall. It just must not have been removed from our school's calendar.

Ken Thompson said...

``My children have attended Dekalb County school since Pre-K and I do not consider their education "embarassing".''

I wonder...what a poll of DCSS parents would reveal about how well Georgia schools stack up, how well DCSS stacks up, how well their child's school stacks up, and how good an education their child receives. I'm guessing the first three would correlate strongly and the last one would be in left field.

Were that to actually be the case, what would it suggest about parental involvement in the school evaluation process?

Trying to Keep the Faith said...

Ken - You raise some interesting concerns. Another issue to study / survey (and I believe this has been noted on this blog in the past), is the frequency at which the most involved parents end up leaving DCSS. I have seen this over and over. Parents who invest the most time and energy into their childrens schools are too often the ones who bail out of DCSS and move their children to a private school. Often at great personal sacrifice. When I ask them why, after all they invested in the public school, they would leave for a private school, the answers are uniformly the same. They got tired of beating their heads against the DCSS wall, lost confidence in the system and did not trust DCSS with their child's education. I'm always horrified when I hear this from a parent who was super involved in my child's school. But I hear it over and over every year. And it's not good for our schools. DCSS should be encouraging these families to stay. It's better for all the students and all the schools. But it seems like DCSS is driving away the involved parents our schools need. And that's bad for all the students and all the schools.

Anonymous said...

RE: mykidsmom / dunwoodymom -

"My children have attended Dekalb County school since Pre-K and I do not consider their education "embarassing"."

If your family were to relocate to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio or North Carolina this summer and your children were to enroll in a public school there, I'll bet your perspective would change.

And let's be honest with ourselves. Georgia public school students are getting blown away on the SAT by public school students in ARKANSAS, ALABAMA and MISSISSIPPI! If that's not embarassing, I don't know what is.

(No offense to you natives of AR, AL and MS. I'm just sayin' ...)

The fact that DCSS SAT scores are so far below Georgia's statewide average (18% below!!!) is beyond embarassing. Someone posted above about this. And I agree. This is beyond embarassing.

Anonymous said...

Does the CRCT test change each year, or only periodically, when we have a curriculum change?

mykidsmom said...

If your family were to relocate to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio or North Carolina this summer and your children were to enroll in a public school there, I'll bet your perspective would change.

Betcha they would not. My children score in the upper 90's on the ITBS tests (which are measured against all students taking this test nationwide) and my oldest scored extremely well on the PSAT last fall as a 9th grader.

Why do you keep trying to insist my children are not well educated? I find that insulting to my children.

Anonymous said...

It's almost unfair to compare DCSS schools to schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio or North Carolina. Those states are just so far ahead of Georgia's Dept. of Education. Light years ahead. Minnesota in particular has fantastic public school systems.

But it is fair to compare DCSS to the Cobb, Fulton and City of Atlanta school systems, and right now, they are way better than DCSS.

mykidsmom said...

Interesting link to utilize. I think some of you may be surprised.

http://www.edweek.org/apps/qc2009/state_compare.html

Cerebration said...

Good link, mykidsmom. I see when I compare GA to Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Ohio - in achievement I get this - (2007 data)

% Proficient In Math - 4th grade
GA -- 31.6
IA -- 43.0
MA -- 57.6
MN -- 50.6
OH -- 45.9

% Proficient In Math - 8th grade
GA -- 24.7
IA -- 35.2
MA -- 50.7
MN -- 43.1
OH -- 35.4

% Proficient In Reading - 4th grade
GA -- 28.3
IA -- 36.1
MA -- 49.2
MN -- 36.9
OH -- 36.3

% Proficient In Reading - 8th grade
GA -- 25.6
IA -- 35.7
MA -- 43.0
MN -- 36.6
OH -- 35.9

Cerebration said...

mykidsmom, please understand, we are just looking at overall scores. We all will admit that there are definitely some very, very good schools in Georgia and many children are getting an excellent education.

That really just makes you wonder how our averages could be as low as the data shows. There must be schools scoring quite low in order to pull the average down so much. The overall scores for Georgia and DeKalb are not good, even though we do have some gems in the mix.

Cerebration said...

BTW - the scores above are national tests. Interestingly, to prove my point about some schools being excellent, GA ranks quite high compared to the others when it comes to students passing AP courses (only MA is higher). However, our graduation rate is scored at 56.1%, compared to 81.1% for Iowa 73.2% for Mass, 78.7% for Minnesota and 74.7% for Ohio.

Another interesting item, we have no check marks in the columns labeled new teacher induction, teacher mentoring, and reduced workload for new teachers. This indicates that just maybe - we are throwing our teachers in the lake to see if they sink or swim.

Cerebration said...

There is some kind of disconnect too - in the graded portion of the report, GA gets an "A-" for standards, assessments and accountability but a "D+" in K-12 student achievement. (for 2008) Is it that we're just tracking and assessing better? Would other states find that their data wouldn't look so bright if they assessed students better? MASS and OH both got A's in assessment so their data seems reliable, but Minn got a C and Iowa got a D+.

mykidsmom said...

Cere, I belive our teachers were unprepared and received very little assistance from the state with regards to the new curriculum, Math especially - which then affected our children's ability to grasp the new Math. It's my opinon Kathy Cox should lose her job over this one issue alone.

I even had an administrator admit to me that the 9th grade biology book was "garbage".

Molly said...

Trying to Keep the Faith said....Parents who invest the most time and energy into their childrens schools are too often the ones who bail out of DCSS and move their children to a private school. Often at great personal sacrifice. When I ask them why, after all they invested in the public school, they would leave for a private school, the answers are uniformly the same. They got tired of beating their heads against the DCSS wall, lost confidence in the system and did not trust DCSS with their child's education.

This would describe me perfectly. For years, I was a very active volunteer. In August, two of my three children will attend a state commission charter school, and one of the reasons I opted to send them there was because it would free them from the DeKalb school system. I am considering enrolling my third in the Georgia Virtual Academy for the same reason. We can't afford the private school option, but we have found a public school option that doesn't involve DeKalb county and its entrenched bureaucracy. I have no faith in DCSS anymore. While individual teachers and schools may be successful, the system as a whole is broken.

Anonymous said...

Cere - Those numbers don't lie. Georgia public schools are a cut BELOW those most other states.

Keep the Faith / Molly - What you post is true. DCSS schools aren't simply suffering a "brain drain" when children leave. DCSS schools suffer a "community involvement / support drain" when these families leave. This is really crippling our schools and it's directly attributable to the DCSS BoE and Central Administration.

mykidsmom said...

You know what for all of you who seem to bash on an hourly basis? Yes, DCSS has problems, in some areas BIG problems. I also believe that, in most cases, this blog attempts to discuss these in a mature, respectful manner while offering some good, sane solutions.

However, for some of you, you only seem to want to bash away and offer no solutions or engage in an intelligent discussion.

DCSS also has some great schools, great teachers and great students - attested to by the millions of dollars DCSS students receive in academic scholarships each year. There are even students in so-called "struggling" high schools that receive academic scholarships. Just remember, when you are calling DCSS "garbage", you are personally attacking some fine schools, administrators, students and parents.

Ella Smith said...

I agree that the state and our county averages are not what we want to see, but I think it is interesting that we still have some children scoring extremely high on nathional standard tests.

I think again we must look at the social issues and these must be addressed if we want the situation to change. My two younger children have scored extremely well on national standardized tests and AP tests given. They both were educated in the public schools of Dekalb County and Georgia.

We are not looking at a quick fix and so many issues come into play when taking into cosideration how well students' achieve on these test.

Even though I am sad at what I see I again do believe that the majority of our school board members are working hard to try to turn Dekalb County School System around. I would be happy if two individuals are the school board were replaced but besides from this I know that they are setting the standards high on Dr. Lewis.

Many things need to change to turn our school system around but I think it is important to look at the well educated students who are being educated in our public school in Dekalb and across the state. I have said this before and I will say it again as I believe it with all my heart. "You can bring a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink." You can have a perfect learning environment but some students will continue not to perform well on standardized tests.

Dekalbparent said...

What was disturbing to me when I ran a comparison at the Edweek site was the discrepancy between the percentage of students who met standards on the state evaluation (CRCT) and the percentage that met standards on the NAEP in the same subject/grade. Across the board, there was 50-60% passing on CRCT and more like 25-28% passing on NAEP

Dekalbparent said...

I was wrong (should not rely on short-term memory).

The percentages of proficient or above on Math for 2006-07 were 80.3% (4th and 8th averaged) for CRCT and 28.2% on NAEP.

The percentages of proficient or above on Reading for 2006-07 were 86.9% (4th and 8th averaged) for CRCT and 27.0% on NAEP.

You find these figures under the ELL section.

Cerebration said...

hmmm. that too is disturbing.

Anonymous said...

mykidsmom said...
However, for some of you, you only seem to want to bash away and offer no solutions or engage in an intelligent discussion.


You know why? Because many of us have been beaten down after trying and trying to improves our kids' schools despite push back from principals (the Shamrock principal is simply an idiot) and overpaid
Central Office administrators.

mykidsmom, I came in with tons of energy and hope, and after a few years or trying and trying, I've given up. DCSS is simply too big and would definitely improve exponentially by splitting the system in two.

Anonymous said...

I think "mykidsmom" has misinterpreted some of the bloggers' zeal and goals. It is not to tear now or destroy DCSS.
It is to point out the extreme disparity in educational achievement in the county. It is kind of like how the gulf between the poor and the wealthy widened so much in the US over the last 8 years. (sorry to interject politics but could not resist).

Yes, some DCSS schools and students are achieving at a very high level. My child attends one of the "best" schools but the gap between this school and the majority of middle and high schools is terrific and I fear the gap is getting wider.

Solutions? Why doesn't GA and DCSS look at the curricula and other aspects in Mass. and see what they are doing that we are not? Look at school districts or individual schools with similar demographics and see how they run their schools, select teachers, teach math and science, etc. Frankly, the thought of GA being the trendsetter in math and science curricula is a bit frightening.

There are simple fixes, i.e. get rid of the high school block schedules, enforce discipline, stop social promotion, put after school tutoring in the schools and not at private vendors.

Anonymous said...

All I want is someone to hold the District accountable. Someone needs to take a close look at how many failed the State's End of Course Tests (ECOT), which only requires 50% correct to "pass" -- How is it that in the same subject those failing students who couldn't get a 50% (F) on the State's test passed at DCSS, with honors (A's and B's)?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that looking at the curruculum from Mass would benefit DCSS. Massachusetts is an extremely homogenous state (89% white) with a median income which is much higher than the Georgia (56k vs 43k). Curriculum is not the reason that students in Massachusetts have better test scores than students in Georgia.

Anonymous said...

Look at Boston Public schools. They are 39% black,37% hispanic and 13% white. 72% qualifiy for free or reduced lunch.

60% of 8th graders passed the MA equivalent of CRCT in math. 48% passed science. (OK..they need to really work on science). SAT scores better than DCSS.

Ken Thompson said...

"However, for some of you, you only seem to want to bash away and offer no solutions or engage in an intelligent discussion."

Strange as it sounds "bashing away" can be constructive--a bit like a traffic cop who doesn't make the laws or in any way change, alter or suggest improvements, but certainly "observes" when they're broken and provides valuable feedback.

As for solutions, I certainly have my list, but I rather doubt many on this blog would like or agree with them and I'm quite certain none in the education-industrial complex would.

Cerebration said...

"However, for some of you, you only seem to want to bash away and offer no solutions or engage in an intelligent discussion."

Well, I guess that's why we called it Dekab County School Watch not DeKalb County School Solutions.

Sometimes, people on the inside are so deeply inside - that they can't even hear or see the problems. You can't begin to work on issues until you identify them and admit that they exist. Many people who comment here have tried desperately to discuss issues and help with solutions, only to have doors slammed in their faces. We do try to brainstorm solutions - all the time. I would suggest you scroll down the archive list and read some of those posts.

Anon South Side said...

Ken,

Give it a try anyway. Giving no solutions still is not the answer. Many read but don't reply so please go ahead and begin laying out solutions.

I know that they aren't always received but give them.....

I'm looking for solutions......sometimes the answers come after the storm...even when the storm is bashing......

Ken Thompson said...

I'd love to, but my abbreviated version exceeds the maximum size for a post (4,096 characters).

Must be a bigger problem than I thought ;^)

Cerebration said...

Silly. Send me an email and I can post it - or you can post it yourself after I make you a front page author.

ReparteeForFun@gmail.com

Ken Thompson said...

OK, here's the REALLY abbreviated version...

The problems are structural and must be addressed as such. We got here slowly, over time and we will not "fix the problem" by chipping away at superficial but obvious blemishes--that is ineffective against the system's bureaucratic inertia and passive aggression. We must make dramatic changes that will result in a system totally unlike what we have today.

These changes include:

1. Replace some of the tax burden with a per-student "service fee" of $4000. Currently a family with 4 children receives approximately $600,000 worth of services for those K-12 educations. A $4000/child fee places about a third of the burden upon those who brought the burden into play--the government charity is still two thirds.

2. Transparency.

a) anything, any document, test, report, RFP, proposal, absolutely ANYTHING that does not compromise personal information should be published online.

b) this includes teacher credentials--our system is in failure and many teachers in the field today are actually products of that failed system.

c) it must also include key "services", especially "assessment" and "accreditation". Who are these people? What are their qualifications? How do they get their jobs? Are they just another part of an incestuous, almost secret education bureaucracy?

3. Tear down the guild socialism.

a) offer automatic certification to teachers certified in any state that outperforms Georgia.

b) eliminate tenure--PS teachers are not teaching controversial, out-there philosophies and needing political cover--they SHOULD be teaching fundamentals.

c) merit pay--figure it out--make it happen.

d) open public school classes and activities to private school and home school students. Let a home school student take a high school physics or biology class--let a private school student join a school band or orchestra. Yes, there should be a fee assessed.

4. Route out incompetence.

a) eliminate hyphenated, made-up degrees. Require a bachelor degree in the field being taught with an education minor, taught not by some artifically created and supported "education" program, but provided as a "service program" within the psychology department--if you believe believe training in child psychology is needed to teach shapes, colors and numbers.

b) eliminate teaching outside of the teacher's degree. Period. We have english teachers practicing outside their area of "expertise"!!! Fer crissakes, what IS their degree in, playground administration?

5. Free ourselves from the shackles of the education-industrial complex.

a) establish our own content production system. We have universities and professors claiming to be immeniently qualified to train teachers for our public schools. Some are paid by publishers to write our textbooks. They should also be qualified to provide curricula, lesson plan frameworks and textbook materials. For us. They should be required to work on these materials and services as a condition of obtaining tenure. We also have a gracious plenty of "curriculum development" adminstrators in the system--put them to work.

b) break free of the textbook publishers with their artificial revenue generating churn by leveraging GIMC to produce textbooks using content from our own system. These can be customized--tailored to specific needs of systems, schools and/or classes and produced on-site with current technology.

6. Cut the crap. Stop the mamby-pamby PC language about "turning the system around". Quit talking about superficial, manipulated testing programs. Stop trying "fix problems" by glossing over them with specious, self-agrandizing language. Stop taking credit for students labeled "teacher-proof". Man-up--own it. Acknowledge the failure even if it means recognizing that a noble experiment has achieved what so many do--proving the hypothesis incorrect.

Talk amongst yourselves...

Open+Transparent said...

Ken Thompson, that was a great post!

Cerebration said...

ditto! shall we send it off to the board?!!

msbssy said...

Ken you left out addressing the discipline problems that run rampant through DCSS. I say segregate them all on 1-2 campuses so they don't disturb the children that are trying to get an education. Sorry parents, if a teacher has to call you more than 3 times a month because your BAK (bad ass kid) can't control themselves, that child should be removed from the school. This is one of my biggest issues with DCSS, uncontrollable kids with apathetic parents---ship them all off to alternative school, honestly and I hate to sound harsh, if they don't care--I don't care. And start it young, don't wait until a child is in 9th grade to address the issue, if they're a problem child in 9th, you can rest assure they were a problem child way back in elementary school.

Dekalbparent said...

msbssy, amen!

It's not PC or "sensitive" to call attention to it, but sometimes I get so hacked off at how one or two or three kids can hijack the whole year for the other kids.

You're right - move them to a place where they can't dothis to the kids who are trying to learn.

I told someone that my kid's high school is really three separate schools:

1) the kids who don't give a rat's, and just want somewhere to meet up with their friends and gang-bang. The teachers who have them are just practicing crowd control.

2) the vast middle layer of kids who have hopes of getting somewhere but either suffered from poor preparation in middle school or lack the gifts the top layer have had bestowed on them. These teachers and kids have it worst - they are trying to teach/learn while being distracted by the first group.

3) the very tiny group who are in the "elite" classes.

Anon South Side said...

Yes, let's send it to the board!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dorathea Alexander, the Atheron Asst. Principal who (allegedly) assisted James Berry, who admitted his crime of changing Atheron test scores. is STILL ON THE COUNTY PAYROLL!!!!

Dr. Crawford Lewis, how in the heck can you justify her still receiving a salary and benefits? You have lost your mind, Dr. Lewis.

Anonymous said...

msbssy, your are not being harsh. You're just stating a common sense thought. There are way too many BAK's, who are being rpomoted to the next grade without earning it. People, in some DCSS schools, BAK's run the school, not principal and staff.

Ken Thompson said...

"Ken you left out addressing the discipline problems that run rampant through DCSS."

I left out a lot in scope and in detail due to the character limit on a post. Discipline will probably be handled real soon after parents have some skin in the game.

However, many things are "missing" because they are actually, and ironically, part of the problem. In that area I include dress codes, computers, TV, new math, block scheduling and such. They are like putting on a little makeup to cover that cold sore that just won't go away. It does nothing to address the fact you may well have a fatal disease and in fact may delay action until it is too late.

The thing is, I've arrived at my conclusions based on formulating answers to a series of questions:

1. if we didn't have public schools, would we create them?

2. if we answer "yes" to #1, would we create anything like what we have today?

3. if we answer "no" to #2, is what we have anywhere on, or even near to, the path to building what we really want?

For me, the answer to #1 is no, so my conclusions and suggestions are based on hypothetical answers.

Cerebration said...

I'm not sure where to put this, but I guess that in light of the challenge to improve test scores, Dr. Lewis has relieved many principals of their duties and is replacing them with some he has more confidence in.

I have to say that I think this group really does look good! Let's hope that they get the proper support and training to do the best job possible in their new posts.

Read the bios of these 16 interesting people. One special note - the new principal of SW DeKalb is a graduate of SW DeKalb - and the new principal of Lakeside is a graduate of Lakeside!

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/newsroom/press/pdf/2009-07-10.2009-08-10.New_Principals_Ready_for_New_Positions.pdf

Dekalbparent said...

Just an aside, DHHS also fell out of the Newsweek list - I assume for lack of responding to the request - but nobody has bothered to correct it, even though they are aware of it ...

Anonymous said...

The list conveniently only focuses on those new to the job of principal.

I have been scratching my head as to why the list doesn't include those making parallel moves. Moton, Arnold, etc aren't mentioned anywhere.

Very peculiar

Cerebration said...

Lakeside is officially back on the Newsweek list - the online version only (11th in the state, 320 in the country). It's true, no one sent in their data to the Newsweek folks. (Too busy negotiating a $10k bonus?!)

http://www.newsweek.com/id/201160/?s=Georgia&q=2009/rank/1

And yes - we're still trying to figure out the list of principals who made a lateral move (with a $10k bonus) after being identified by Dr. Lewis as "highly effective"...

Anon South Side said...

Cere.... I read the bios and I hope they can pull it off.

andi said...

From today's Washington Post.

Should High Schools Bar Average Students From Rigorous College-Level Courses and Tests?
By Jay Mathews

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/12/AR2009071202010.html?hpid=sec-education

Cerebration said...

I actually completely agree with Jay Mathews. I just think he also needs to give some kind of additional score for graduation rates across 4 years. (How many freshmen actually make it to graduation at this school?) It's a bit of a cheat to lose 1/3 or more of your entire class between freshman and senior year and then only assess the remaining seniors. Lakeside's number for instance, would be much lower if they had a larger senior class to use in the formula. However, they often begin with 450 - 500 freshmen and end with only 300 seniors, skewing the number for Mr. Mathews formula.

mykidsmom said...

What is Matthews' reasoning for only using seniors? There are many students taking several AP courses prior to their senior year.
I think I just do not understand his formula.

Cerebration said...

A lot of people take issue with his formula, but he insists that this is the only way to ensure access to AP classes for everyone. The methodology will usually consistently show a percentage of AP classes offered at a school and if a school wants their "Challenge" number to be high, they need to encourage many underclassmen to take the classes.

However, another way to manipulate the number is to allow many students to leave the school before their senior year, creating a smaller number (the number of seniors) to divide into the number of students taking the test. That's my issue. I don't think Mathews takes into consideration the dropout rate (or rate of transfers out of a certain school).

But to create a system that just judges by the pass rate on AP tests would encourage schools to only encourage their brightest students to take AP classes. Mathews point is that all students should be encouraged to at least try an AP class or two to get them ready for college-level work.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Okay, if this is not the biggest bunch of malarky and double-speak:

An outside investigator looking into allegations of CRCT cheating at Atlanta’s Deerwood Academy said in a report released Friday afternoon that “irregularities were the result of negligence and record keeping, lack of energy and diligence in following the rules rather than deliberate attempts to alter test answers.”

How in the heck does record keeping and lack of energy lead to changing answers on a test?

http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/report-atlanta-school-crct-cheating-not-deliberate-121025.html

Anonymous said...

It is typical Hall whitewash and PR. Remember she is by far the highest paid superintendent of a smaller system. I think part of her pay is tied to CRCT scores.

She was holding a press conference at 4 p.m. on Friday. The slowest news time of all except for the day after Thanksgiving.

Dunwoody Mom said...

AJC has an article on further "suspicious" test scores. Thankfully, there are no DCSS schools on this list, but several from APS.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation found 19 public elementary schools statewide with extraordinary gains or drops in scores between spring last year and this year. A dozen were in Atlanta.

http://www.ajc.com/news/are-drastic-swings-in-165974.html

ALICE said...

I can't find a way to contact the owner of this blog directly, but I would like your feedback on a different topic. My daughter is in the 4th grade in a Dekalb County school. Recently a friend showed her pornography on the internet while the two girls were waiting for a teacher in the media center. Of course, I called the school to report this, etc. The principal confirmed that she was able to get to the pornographic sites herself and assured me that she would look into this. A few days later, she called me to say that she had investigated the matter and was told that there was nothing the DCCS could do about this problem. She said that to block pornographic sites would require blocking access to educational videos, too, and that that was against DCCS policies (or maybe some kind of law even, I can't remember). She said that the breakdown, or the problem, was really that the girls were unsupervised. I think the teacher they had been waiting for got in trouble for this. As you can imagine, I find this situation outrageous! If this is really the policy of the DCCS, and if all computers connected to the internet in all of our schools allow access to pornography, you can believe that every day at some school, children's minds are being polluted. There is a way to block certain kinds of websites and allow others. We have this in our own home to protect our children. Somewhere in the school system someone is not doing his/her job!

I would like to know if anyone else out there has run into this problem. Also, can you give me some advice on how I can begin to get the problem rectified?

Thanks so much for any feedback!

Cerebration said...

Wow. I find it hard to believe that the school system can't block porn when there are so many products available for parents to do so at home.

I would take this to Tony Hunter, the Director of MIS for DCSS. This is obviously either a technology problem or a training issue with teachers and staff.

Further, I might have a chat with the porn-lover's mother. But that's just me.

Cerebration said...

ps - we have an email address -
reparteeforfun@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

"I would take this to Tony Hunter, the Director of MIS for DCSS. This is obviously either a technology problem or a training issue with teachers and staff."


Other school systems and colleges have software that blocks porn and such sites while still allowing access to educational sites.

This again is an example of the slackness of underperformance on the MIS Dept. Yet Tony Hunter is now an "Executive Director". The MIS Dept. is an embarassment.

Anonymous said...

About the internet issue. If the principal said there was nothing that could be done to block the site, he/she is an IDIOT! I work at another metro school district and sites like that are blocked while access to education sites are allowed. Bring it up again, but go over this principals head.